Seven members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including chairman Gen. Mark Milley and vicechair Gen. John Hyten, plus two other senior U.S. military commanders are in quarantine after coming in contact with a Coast Guard flag officer who tested positive for COIVD-19, USNI News has learned.
The military leaders all had meetings last week in the Pentagon with Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Charles Ray. Ray tested positive for the virus on Monday after symptoms over the weekend, a senior defense department official told USNI News.
“We are aware that [Adm.] Ray has tested positive for COVID-19 and that he was at the Pentagon last week for meetings with other senior military leaders. Some meeting attendees included other Service Chiefs,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a Tuesday statement.
“We are conducting additional contact tracing and taking appropriate precautions to protect the force and the mission. Out of an abundance of caution, all potential close contacts from these meetings are self-quarantining and have been tested this morning. No Pentagon contacts have exhibited symptoms and we have no additional positive tests to report at this time.”
A Navy official told USNI News that Adm. Mike Gilday was working from home on Monday and was awaiting test results following a meeting with Ray.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger was in the U.K. last week when the Joint Chiefs meeting occurred and therefore was not exposed to Ray. However, he was in attendance at a ceremony honoring gold star families at the White House on Sept. 27 ahead of President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Berger has tested negative for COVID-19 following that potential exposure.
A senior defense official told USNI News the following flag and general officers were in quarantine following Ray’s positive test result.
- Gen. Mark Milley chairman of the Joint Chiefs
- Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs
- Adm. Mike Gilday, chief of naval operations of the U.S. Navy
- Gen. James McConville, chief of staff of the U.S. Army
- Gen. Charles Brown, chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force
- Gen. Gary Thomas, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps
- Gen. John Raymond, chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force
- Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of National Guard Bureau
- Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director, National Security Agency
According to a source familiar with the meetings, the military leaders met with Ray in the joint chief’s secure conference room in the Pentagon, known as the “Tank.”
The news of potential exposure comes as senior administration leaders have tested positive for the virus and as Trump has returned to the White House after three days of treatment at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.